Raspberry Pi Pico Handheld Emulates ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64

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Raspberry Pi Pico Handheld Emulates ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64

Raspberry Pi computers, even the diminutive Raspberry Pi Zero, have long been used as emulators. Thanks to software like RetroPie (see how to install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi), you can run games and apps from old computers dating back to the 1970s and 80s.

Unlike other Raspberry Pi SBCs, which run Linux on chips that are at least 1 GHz (often 2.5 GHz), the Raspberry Pi Pico is a relatively simple microcontroller that has no OS on its 133 MHz dual-core RP2040 processor. Nevertheless, since the Pico came out in January, we’ve seen it used for some impressive emulation projects, including one which turns the $4 board into a Nintendo NES. 

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Now, Twitter user @bobricius has developed a custom PCB which attaches to a Raspberry Pi Pico and turns it into a ZX Spectrum / Commodore 64, complete with a built-in game pad.  A project called M.CU.M.E (Multi CompUter Machine Emulator) is the heart of this build, and it is used as the software layer for running the old applications.

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